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U.S. to Surpass 4 Million Coronavirus Cases Today; Miami Increases Penalties For Residents Who Don't Wear Masks. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired July 23, 2020 - 07:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: Aim high, Dr. Fauci.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And I'm assuming this (INAUDIBLE) and you called this the ultimate achievement of your life, before getting married.

BERMAN: Oh, no. That was after I had twins. And it's still the ultimate of my life.

All right, Coy, thank you very much. I appreciate this embarrassing walk down the memory lane.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: That was awesome. I also liked how you were warming up. That was so --

BERMAN: I have to get ready. All right, New Day continues right now.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is New Day.

And new alarming numbers this morning, the United States will almost certainly pass 4 million coronavirus cases sometime today. The U.S. hit 3 million cases just two weeks ago. You can see the steep curve there. The rate of spread is increasing dramatically.

The United States recorded its second highest number of new cases over the last 24 hours, more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths for the second day in a row. That hasn't happened since May.

In whatever scripted words the president is saying in his new briefings, he's way off-script in other places, insisting that testing, which scientists say is key to fighting the pandemic, is overrated.

But other Republicans apparently disagree. Overnight, they reached what they call fundamental agreement with the White House on a coronavirus relief bill that does include money for new testing.

CAMEROTA: 143,000 Americans have been killed by coronavirus, but President Trump is pushing hard for schools to reopen, making false claims about children not getting sick and not transmitting the virus. A new poll finds that just 8 percent of Americans think that schools should reopen, as usual. Most people want some adjustments or a federal plan, which the White House has not offered.

But the president can repeat the words person, woman, man, camera, T.V. He says he can say those words in the correct order better than anyone else. In a moment, we'll show you how well he says those words and how often he repeats them.

But, first, joining us now, we have Dr. Ali Khan, he is the Dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center's College of Public Health, and Dr. Damian Caraballo, Tampa Bay's E.R. Physician and a member of Physicians for Patient Protection. Great to have both of you doctors.

Let's get a status report, Dr. Caraballo, from you first, because you're in Florida, you're in the emergency rooms. So tell us what's happened today.

DR. DAMIAN CARABALLO, TAMPA E.R. PHYSICIAN: What we're seeing in Florida, like we talked about last time I was on the show, we're seeing an increase in hospitalizations now and deaths are also increasing. We had a record number of deaths reported on Tuesday.

So like I talked about earlier, the good news in Florida is that we've seen -- it looks like we've hit our peak so far, which was 15,000 cases about a week-and-a-half ago. Right now, we're about 9,500 cases of new coronavirus cases that we're seeing.

The bad part is, like I talked about, is we're going to have a lag of hospitalizations in about one to two weeks. So a lot of these people, as we talked about, as they get older, we see older people getting, there's going to be an increase in mortality, an increase in hospitalizations.

Right now in Tampa, we have about 34 ICU beds for a population of 1.4 million. So that's pretty disconcerting. Any spike in cases or increase in hospitalizations going to put our E.R. system and hospital systems in peril. So that's what I'm most concerned about right now.

BERMAN: Dr. Caraballo, you just raised the issue of hospitalizations, Dr. Khan. I think we have a chart which can show we are with hospitalizations around the country, and we are at almost exactly where we were in April, in the earlier peak of this pandemic.

And that's a real issue, especially now, as we've seen the second straight day of more than 1,000 deaths, which we haven't seen since the beginning of May. So what do you expect will happen in the next few days and weeks when it comes to the daily deaths, Dr. Khan?

DR. ALI KHAN, DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER'S COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Good morning, John and Alisyn. Yes, we've rolled back essentially two months' worth of progress with what we're seeing in the number of cases and the number of deaths in the United States. And until we take the right strategy to get this disease contained, we're going to see more of the same. We're going to continue to see 70,000 cases a day. We're going to continue to see 1,100 deaths. And, again, if we do not get this disease controlled, we may well see this new staircase and get additional cases on top of these 70,000, as we sort of hopscotch across the United States.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Khan, I just want to stick with you for one second to get the big view that Dr. Fauci tried to present yesterday, where he, again, cautioned we're nowhere near the end. In fact, he's not sure we're even in the middle. Listen to this.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are certainly not at the end of the game. I'm not even sure we're halfway through.


We are living right now through historic pandemic outbreak. And we are right now in a situation where we do not see any particular end in sight.


CAMEROTA: So, Dr. Khan, explain what that means for everyone in practical terms and what you mean by a staircase effect.

KHAN: So we have more cases now than we had in our peak in April. And this is even accounting for the increased testing in the United States. So, we sort of peaked at 30,000 cases, plateaued, so we flattened the curve, but we sure didn't contain the disease like the rest of the world as done successfully and now we're back up to 70,000 cases. And, again, if we're going to plateau probably and if we don't get this down, we're at risk of additional cases.

There's still 300 million Americans that are susceptible to this disease, so there's a lot of people who can get infected and a whole lot of people who can die still.

BERMAN: Dr. Caraballo, you suggested that maybe, hopefully, Florida has reached a peak, in other words, the growth in new cases of hospitalizations in new cases isn't rising or rising exponentially, but how long, Dr. Caraballo, can you maintain the situation at that level, even if it has plateaued? And do you see any evidence that action is being taken to actually bend it downward?

CARABALLO: Yes. Well, like I said, what I'm most concerned about now is hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID. And even if we did hit peak, we're not going to hit peak in hospitalizations for another week to two weeks. And that's what happened in New York and New Jersey, and everything like that.

And we know from a crowded E.R., if you have boarding in the E.R., which means it takes over two hours to get the patients out of the E.R. into a hospital bed, the mortality of all patients increases 2 percent. If that increases to 12 hours, meaning people are boarding in the E.R. to five hours, then that increases to 5 to 7 percent. So, meaning, if you come in with a heart attack to the E.R. and were boarding that long, then it increases your mortality no matter what hospital you're in.

So that's what I'm most concerned about right now. What people can do at home, socially distance, wear masks, those are no-brainers. Right now, in my opinion, every single state should have a mask ordinance. And if you're susceptible to the disease, please stay at home, please find ways to have people deliver stuff to your house. Don't be going out.

In Florida, if you go out into a crowd of over 25 people, your chance of having one person have COVID is about 80 percent (INAUDIBLE) model that showed that. If you go anywhere in Florida with over 50 people, your chance of being in a crowd with somebody with COVID is 99 percent.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. Dr. Caraballo, as you know, in Florida, they plan to open schools in a few weeks.

CARABALLO: Yes, I have three kids, I'm well aware. I think we can open schools, but we have to have a plan and a way to get there. We can't just make a goal and just say, let's go with it. We have to have a way, a step going there.

I think closing things, closing down, going back to phase one would be a prudent thing if we want to get school started. I think opening schools is certainly a good goal and the American Academy of Pediatrics has shown that in terms of children, it's best for them psychiatrically and psychologically, but we have to have a way to get there and we have to have a goal to get there and we have to have a plan to do it. We can't just like, you know, wish upon a star that schools are going to open.

BERMAN: Dr. Khan, the president this morning or overnight, after his briefing, which was scripted, once again, goes out of his way to say testing is overrated. I know you think testing is essential.

KHAN: Without a doubt, testing is essential. How do you contain this disease as so many other countries are successfully getting down to zero without testing? So we do have to test but we need to act on those tests. So we need timely testing, number one. Obviously, we need to make that data available, but we need to act on that testing.

So what we're not hearing is how are we doing in the critical component of getting disease contained, which is test and trace, right? So are we isolating cases? How long is it taking to isolate cases? Are we finding those contacts? How many of those contacts are we finding? How many of our new cases are coming from contact lists?

So we're missing the biggest piece of the public health strategy to get this disease contained in our communities, go back to school and restart our community and restart our economy. We're missing the biggest public health piece right now.

CAMEROTA: Well, you say, right now, Dr. Khan, we're not -- there's no plan to do tracing, as far as we can tell. There's certainly no national plan. It seems as though we're incapable of doing that.

KHAN: Oh, absolutely. And we have been incapable from day one of doing the most critical thing necessary to decrease this disease, which is that community transmission piece.

And the U.S. strategy is pretty clear, it's thinning the herd strategy, right? Work on vaccine, work on therapeutics and make sure you protect the vulnerable population. Other countries, their strategy has been, let's get cases down to zero or as close to zero as we can, some have even eliminated the disease.


And what that's is it's allowed them to essentially reopen their economies.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Khan, Dr. Caraballo, thank you very much for giving us a status report and all of the information this morning. It's really interesting to talk to both of you.

KHAN: Thank you very much. Mask on.

CAMEROTA: President Trump is impressed with himself about his cognitive ability. And he's bragging about taking this test that required him to string five words together and repeat them. And he claims the doctors told him that the way he did it was very special. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: So the last time I was at the hospital, probably a year ago, I said to the doctor, it was Dr. Ronnie Jackson, I said, is there some kind of a test, an acuity test? And he said, there actually is, and he named it, whatever it might be. And it was 30 or 35 questions. The first questions are very easy.

The last questions are much more difficult, like a memory question. It's, like, you'll go person, woman, man, camera, T.V. So they'll say, can you repeat that? So I said, yes. So it's person, woman, man, camera, T.V. Okay, that's very good. If you get it in order, you get extra points.

If you -- okay, now he's asking you other questions, other questions, and then ten minutes, 15, 20 minutes later, they say, remember the first question, but not the first, but the tenth, give us that again, can you do that again. And you go person, woman, man, camera, T.V. If you get it in order, you get extra points. They said, nobody gets it in order, it's actually not that easy, but for me it was easy.

And that's not an easy question. In other words, they ask it to you. They give you five names and you have to repeat them, and that's okay. If you repeat them out of order, it's okay, but, you know, it's not as good. But then when you go back about 20, 25 minutes later and they say, go back to that question -- they don't tell you this. Go back to that question and repeat them. Can you do it? And you go person, woman, man, camera, T.V. They say, that's amazing. How did you do that? I do it because I have like a good memory, because I'm like cognitively there.


CAMEROTA: Head, shoulders, knees and toes. Head, shoulders, knees and toes. You can do it if you try really, really hard.

But what does it tell us about the president's state of mind that he believes that that was something extraordinary? John, there's a lot. There's a lot of questions about this. He said, I mean, in the president's own words, he found those last five questions, quote, very hard, as he told Chris Wallace.

And he, we now know, asked to take the cognitive test. Why? Why did he want to take a cognitive test? Why did he request that especially? There's a lot of questions this morning.

BERMAN: Look, two major things jump out to me. Number one, that he just did that, unironically. I mean, he was deadly earnest in that. And that Fox News guy, I don't know who it was. You know him.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Siegel, Dr. Marc Siegel. He looked somewhat stunned by that entire dissertation.

BERMAN: Well, that took ten years off of his life. I'm sure he needs therapy after what he just saw there.

But the other thing to note, the president's timeline is a little jumbled here. He keeps on saying he took the test very recently. Well, the only one we know he took was more than two years ago. So in his head, does he think that's very recent? What does that say? That's really just part of it.

CAMEROTA: Look, part of the reason he's probably talking about this and particularly to Fox is because he knows, I'm sure, has seen the latest Fox polls. I'll just show you a couple of them. This is the one that asks about the intelligence, about Joe Biden versus President Trump. People, the respondents, for Fox's own poll have -- Biden has more intelligence to serve at president, 51 percent versus President Trump, 42 percent.

And this one, mental soundness, again, the respondents put Biden ahead of President Trump., 47 to 43. So it could be connected to that.

BERMAN: I will say, you win the day, head, shoulders, knees and toes.

CAMEROTA: It's not easy. But if you repeat it over and over again, you do get it at some point.

BERMAN: You have tons of cognitive ability --

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

BERMAN: -- coming out of your head, shoulders, knees and toes.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you very much.

All right, John, joke over, I'm moving on.

Miami's mayor has just upped the penalties for people who refuse to wear masks. We will speak with him about this, next.



BERMAN: All right, breaking news. We learned moments ago that the City of Miami has just increased penalties for residents who refuse to wear masks. Violators will now receive a $100 fine for the first and second offenses and be subject to arrest for the third offense.

Joining me now is Miami's mayor, Francis Suarez. Mr. Mayor, why you increasing the penalties?

MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R-MIAMI, FL): We're increasing the penalties because we want to make sure that people follow rules. What we're seeing is some early evidence that the mask in public rule is working and we want to make sure that it's being adopted universally in our population.

We've assigned 39 police officers this week to just do mask enforcement. And we're seeing some results. Our peak growth rate was 125 new cases a day over the last few days, 14-day average. We're down to 20 new cases a day. So that's about one sixth of the slope, you know, in its peak. And so we want to make sure that we're able to continue these gains so that we don't have to take more dramatic measures.

BERMAN: Have you had any repeat offenders yet for people who have been penalized for not wearing masks?

SUAREZ: We haven't, just because we just started. Initially, we had a warning and then an escalating fine system. And we took out the warning on Monday and we dedicated -- we created this new task force of officers that are going to just go out and do this all week.


So we're now starting to see the fines pile up.

And my hope is we're able to dedicate some of the money you get from these fines to small businesses who are really hurting in our community.

BERMAN: So, my understanding is, across the State of Florida, there is an almost universal call for more nurses to come to the hospitals. In Miami-Dade County, of all the counties, it has the greatest need for nurses at the hospital. Why? What are you seeing?

SUAREZ: The reason why is because we have exceeded, you know, what, most consider 100 percent ICU capacity. We're creating ICU capacity and we have ICU capacity. So, we have about 130 ICU beds. But what people don't realize is to staff an ICU bed, it's not just about creating a bed or having a ventilator or having the equipment, you need the staffing. That's really the most important part.

This is a pandemic that's affecting the entire United States. It's not like you can just easily pull from another part of the country, nurses or doctors, to help staff, you know, meet staffing needs. So that's the reason why we need staffing and we're very grateful that we're starting to get it from other parts of the state, the states providing us with some additional nurses.

BERMAN: You've faced questions, you've been on the show repeatedly about whether or if or when you might institute a stay-at-home order. The last time I talked to you was just probably less than a week ago. You said, maybe within a few days if the situation doesn't turn around. Where are you now on the possibility of a stay-at-home order?

SUAREZ: Well, the situation has improved. Just a few days ago, we're at 60 new cases per day. Obviously, our peak was 125. We're down to 20 new cases a day, which means that the remediation efforts that we've taken including, the mask in public rule are working.

And so our hospital administrators are urging patience, our epidemiologists and biostatisticians are telling tell us that we should be to be patient, that the full effect of the remediation and measures have not been completely quantified.

So we're being patient and we're letting those remediation efforts take full effect before making any decisions.

BERMAN: Overnight, one of the things the president suggested was that somehow illegal border crossings led to the surge in cases that we're seeing across southern states. Now, Florida does not share a border with Mexico. How much do you believe that that has increased your cases?

SUAREZ: Zero. In Miami, none. There's nothing from illegal immigration. And some people have, you know, obviously theorized that the protests -- because we don't have any direct evidence linking the protests through contact tracing to higher infections, but some people have theorized that some of protests. And a lot of people have theorized that it's home parties or the sort of graduation parties or celebratory weekends or long weekends, like Memorial and July 4th. So there's been a lot of speculation.

But, frankly, most of the evidence, actual evidence from contact tracing really tells a different story, a story that it's telling us that one person is getting exposed or sick and they're infecting every single member of their household. The house is the greatest category of people that are reporting getting sick, a place, in terms of place. In terms of relationship, the highest category is from a family member. That's 40 percent, 33 percent at home. And over 70 percent, 73 percent are reporting that more than one member of the household is sick.

But really what's happening is people get home, obviously, when they get home, they're not practicing social distancing, they're not wearing their mask inside and they've been exposed and they don't even know it. By the time they get tested with the test lags that there are, we're eight days in of exposure to the entire family, so the entire family is getting sick. That's really the phenomenon that we're seeing and that's what creates exponential growth because you go from one to three or four or five in the household.

BERMAN: Just to be clear, you're saying your testing lags and testing problems are leading to further growth?

SUAREZ: Yes, of course. We have an average wait time of five days before you get the results. So if you're exposed on day zero, it takes you two or three days to start getting symptoms, you decide to get tested, it takes you a day to get tested, that's day four, and then five days without knowing the results, that's day nine before you even know your results, and that's in your home. So by the time you know you're positive, every single person in your household has been infected and basically has been exposed.

BERMAN: The president said overnight that testing is overrated.

SUAREZ: Well, it's not overrated and I'll tell you why. You need to -- we need to know who's sick to isolate those people. If you're doing effective contact tracing and if you know when someone is sick, you can isolate them. The quicker that you isolate them, what they call the R-naught, or the rate of additional persons being infected, is diminished and that's the way to contain the virus.

So knowing that people are sick is critical to containing the virus and to isolating those who are vulnerable, and that's something we've been work on with the state and Miami-Dade County to provide hotel beds for isolation.


BERMAN: Francis Suarez, mayor of the City of Miami, we always appreciate your time. We're hopeful. Let's be hopeful that perhaps some of these trends that you're talking about continue and get reduced even more. Thank you for being with us.

SUAREZ: We're hopeful, but have to be disciplined. Thank you.

BERMAN: Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Okay, John. Ohio's governor mandating masks and issuing a travel advisory for nine states. CNN has reporters across the country to bring you all of the latest developments.



The Kansas State Board of Education voted to reject Governor Laura Kelly's executive order to delay the start of the school year across the state. Kelly's order would have pushed back the beginning of the school year from August 10th to after Labor Day in September. The vote means school districts will be able to decide when they want to start school, including as originally planned.

Kelly said in a statement that cases of COVID-19 in Kansas are at an all-time high and said this vote puts students, faculty and their families and the state's economy at risk.


The governor of Ohio has issued a travel advisory recommending that anyone who travels to Ohio from a state with a COVID-19 positivity rate of 15 percent or higher self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Right now, that list includes nine states and Puerto Rico.

Governor Mike DeWine also announced that starting today at 6:00 P.M., masks will be required for people ten years old and older when in public and in an indoor location other than a residence and outdoors when unable to keep six feet away from others or when riding taxis, rideshares or public transportation.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Miguel Marquez in Phoenix, Arizona, where protesters here and across the state are mounting motor marches, essentially, parents getting together in their cars, signs across them, honking throughout their school districts, telling the governor here that they are concerned about the level of COVID cases in the state. And they are afraid that if the governor was to make a decision soon, if he opens schools even part for in-person and part for online, that that will drive the number of COVID cases up throughout the state.


BERMAN: Our thanks to all of our reporters around the country for the very latest.

We want to remember a few of the more than 143,000 Americans lost to coronavirus.

Naomi Esquivel and Carlos Garcia had been married for 24 years when they died within two weeks of each other, leaving behind two boys ages 14 and 11.

CNN affiliate KTRK reports the boy's uncle, already a father of our, will now raise his nephews.

82-year-old Richard di Liberto was Chief of Photography at Manhattan's Frick Art Museum from 1974 until he retired 30 years later. Di Liberto printed his photos of the Frick's world famous collection in a dark room on site.

In his free time, The New York Times reports, he played the drums at a weekly jam session and he restored old sports cars. He's survived by his wife of 62 years.

We'll be right back.